Whiny Classic Rockers And The Blogger Who Loves Them

We spend so much time talking about hott new bands … sometimes it’s important to check in with the superstars of the ’70s.

Elton John VS Rude, Vile Pigs
This was the scene yesterday at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, where Elton John arrived for a concert in Tapei. Aggressive photogs caused the diva to go ballistic, telling cameramen they’re a bunch of “rude, vile pigs.” John continued, “Do you know what that means? Rude vile pigs. That’s what all of you are.” According to AP, one of the photographers shouted back, “Why don’t you get out of Taiwan?” John answered, “We’d love to get out of Taiwan if it’s full of people like you. Pig! Pig!”

Bruce Springsteen VS TV News
In the new Rolling Stone Bruce Springsteen’s got some harsh criticism of TV news journos: “The press has let the country down … things are distorted by ratings and by money to where you’re getting one hour of the political conventions. No matter how staged they are, I think they’re a little more important than people eating bugs.” More important than eating bugs?! Boss you so crazy!

Cat Stevens VS United Airlines Flight 919
By now I’m sure you heard that Cat Stevens was ordered off a London-to-Washington flight on Tuesday when authorities realized the singer-songwriter’s last name is Islam (he changed it 25 years ago, duh). “I’m totally shocked,” he told reporters when he landed at Heathrow. “The whole thing is totally ridiculous … Everybody knows who I am. I am no secret figure. Everybody knows my campaigning for charity.” As Jon Stewart pointed out on my DVR last night: Good job Dept. Of Homeland Security, you finally caught the motherfucker who wrote “Peace Train.”

Billy Joel VS Good Taste
I’ve already bemoaned the tarnishing of my guilty pleasure’s legacy. Now the pop star turned nostalgia act has announced he’s marrying 26-year-old girlfriend Kate Lee next month. (Yep, she is younger than “Just The Way You Are.”) Asked for comment, the 54-year-old rocker (who finally just got a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame) said, “Whad’ya expect? I’m a friggin’ alcoholic.” Ahh, just kidding folks. Sidenote: Detroit’s Greatest Blogger got an impromptu mini-concert from Mr. Joel in Beverly Hills last week. Shmears.

Finally … this is the MP3 part so pay attention … I’ve been listening to a lot of Neil Young this week. As Stereogum faves Drive-By Truckers sing, “Stars today ain’t half as real.” Neil’s got a new greatest hits coming out. Here is the tracklisting:

1. Down By The River (from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, 1969)
2. Cowgirl In The Sand (from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, 1969)
3. Cinnamon Girl (from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, 1969)
4. Helpless (from CSNY’s Déjà vu, 1970)
5. After The Gold Rush (from After The Goldrush, 1970)
6. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (from After The Goldrush, 1970)
7. Southern Man (from After The Goldrush, 1970)
8. Ohio (from CSNY’s Four Way Street, 1971)
9. The Needle and the Damage Done (from Harvest, 1972)
10. Old Man (from Harvest, 1972)
11. Heart Of Gold (from Harvest, 1972)
12. Like A Hurricane (from American Stars ‘n’ Bars, 1977)
13. Comes A Time (from Comes A Time, 1978)
14. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) (from Rust Never Sleeps, 1979)
15. Rockin’ In The Free World (from Freedom, 1989)
16. Harvest Moon (from Harvest Moon, 1992)

He’s put out ten albums since 1992, but none of ‘em had any hits (though I highly recommend Silver & Gold). My parents saw him perform his Greendale opus at Jones Beach this summer and they said it was the worst concert they have ever been to. I think they were expecting some greatest hits, not a rock opera (though I hear those are hott these days). So today I present to you Neil Young in his glory days, thanks to Glide Magazine.

Neil Young 2/29/1971 Royal Festival Hall, London

He performs pretty much ALL MY FAVORITE songs, complete with cool stage banter (e.g., before playing “Harvest” … “I got this new song I just wrote last night. I can’t remember all the words … it’s gonna be the title song on the album when it comes out April 15th in the United States.”)

Download it. I don’t know how long it’ll be up. You’ll really feel like you’re at an intimate Neil Young concert in 197fucking1. Long before Greendale, before he became an avid toy train collector, before he was Eddie Vedder’s raison d’être.

Jeez, sorry for getting all classic rock on your ass. More Britney tomorrow, k?


A Stereogum Challenge
Here’s a cover of the brilliant Young tune “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.” First person to correctly identify the mid-’70s band performing it (leave your guess in the comments section) will receive a package of cool promotional shit culled from my desk drawers. For reals!

??? – “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”